Sorry PayPal users, refund email a scam

The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of an online scam targeting PayPal customers.

Fraudulent notifications about a bogus refund are being emailed to residents that attempt to trick PayPal users into following a link and logging onto their PayPal accounts to receive a refund, according to a news release issued Wednesday by the Sheriff’s Office.

The link takes people to a page that looks like PayPal’s login page, but it is actually a fake, said Sheriff’s Office Investigator Ed Phippen. The information customers submit is forwarded to “phishers” behind the scheme, who then use the information to hijack the victim’s PayPal account and possibly gain entry to other online accounts, he said.

“There’s always something going on, but PayPal seems to be the one getting hit right now,” he said. “You never know who it’s going to be next.”

PayPal will never send unsolicited emails that ask customers to verify or update an account by clicking on a link or by opening an attachment, as is the case in some variants of these scams, the release says.

PayPal also never sends a message that includes a generic greeting such as “Dear Customer,” the release says. Official PayPal emails always address customers by name.

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